As on November 3rd, there was a Japanese national holiday (Culture Day) coincided with Sunday, the holiday was finally moved to November 4th on Monday. A Japanese friend invited me to take a walk around Kanto, particularly to Odawara (Kanagawa Prefecture) and Atami (Shizuoka prefecture).
Our main destination in Odawara is Odawara Castle (小田原 城, Odawarajō), a castle built in the 15th century. During the Hojo clan control, this castle became the center of Kanto’s regional power. In addition, at that time, the Hojo clan employed ninja with certain skills aimed at confusing the enemies. Wow, what a coincidence that I really like Ninja! When I was a little, I had a dream of joining a Ninjutsu school, hehe. I really wanted to be able to disappear in a critical situation or suddenly jump into a tree and wear a shuriken, hoho. As for my Japanese friend, he likes samurai more than ninja.
The road to Odawara Castle
On the road to Odawara, we passed the sidewalk where the floor was made by pictures of Odawara residents in the past. During my journey in Japan, I often saw sidewalks interspersed with floors or culverts that had cute pictures, so I didn’t get bored walking on the sidewalks, hehe.
When we arrived at the Odawara-Jo (Odawara Castle) courtyard, we saw the Chrysanthemum (Kiku) flowers on display. At that time, there was coronation of the new Japanese emperor, Naruhito. The symbol of the Japanese empire was the Chrysanthemum (Kiku) flower.
It seemed to be a type of Chrysanthemum (Kiku)
Finally, we started to enter Odawara-Jo. The castle is also a museum that explained about the history of the castle, especially the Hojo clan’s power in this castle. At that time, Odawara was the center of power of Kanto region (including the current Tokyo region). On the top floor, we went around the castle and looked at all the sceneries that could be seen from the castle like royals, hehehe. To the east of the castle, there is sea, while to the west of the castle, there are mountains.
view of the sea from Odawara castle
view of the mountains from Odawara castle
view of the sea from Odawara castle
As Hojo clan is known that they employed ninjas in the past, in front of the castle, some ninja costumes were rented out to anyone who wanted to try to be a ninja and took pictures in front of the castle. Actually, I really wanted to try, but it was a bit embarrassing to be laughed by this Japanese friend, haha. I saw some people wearing ninja costumes.
As Odawara is a small town, we had difficulty finding halal-certified food. Finally, we decided to eat tempura, which is well known dish in Odawara. It tasted so good. Want to eat this again. :9
After eating, we headed to Atami, which is a coastal city in Shizuoka Prefecture. My friend invited me here because he remembered when we were in Enoshima, there was a special foot onsen that we planned to go, but unfortunately already closed. At Atami, there was also a free onsen that could be used only for foot relaxation. When we went there … it turned out the onsen water was not hot at all, just a little bit warm, honestly, it was almost cold, haha.
Well, my friend already bought me a towel to wipe my feet. He felt guilty to me as he thought the beach was not as attractive as Kamakura. I saw there was disappointment on his face because he felt he had failed in providing the best service as a Japanese. Well, Japanese glorified their guests so much. I tried to cheer him on by making jokes. It turned out he laughed. And I told him, “hey, sometimes the destination is not important, it’s the one we travel with is more important”. I am fond of traveling with him as he is so fun to be with and has extraordinary knowledge. 🙂 Actually, I thought the beach was fine, even like a private beach because there weren’t many people around. I remembered my hometown in Pariaman, West Sumatra. My village is right in front of the beach. In the morning, it became like a private resort because there were no people, hehehe.
Beach in Atami overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Rows of houses near the beach
Beach in Atami
So that’s how our journey was in the coastal city of Atami. 嬉 し か っ た あ り が と う !! ^^
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